A LAST-MINUTE call for legal action has been made over the dumping of “potentially hazardous mud” from a nuclear plant site off the coast of Penarth, despite it having already started.

Around 300,000 tonnes is being dredged from the seabed near Hinkley Point C site and moved to Cardiff Grounds, not far from Penarth – which is a licensed disposal site.

However, anger from activists has led to a crowdfunding page being set up to help campaigners get an injunction on the mud dumping. A petition has also been sent in to the National Assembly.

Many local residents from Penarth, Barry, Cardiff and further afield have shared their frustrations over the sediment being dumped off the coast.

Penarth man Anthony Slaughter, who is the Cardiff and the Vale Green Party’s campaigns officer and also the chairman of Gwyrddio Penarth Greening, said: “We understand and share local residents’ concerns over the dumping of this potentially hazardous mud in the Severn estuary.

“In addition to any possible risks associated with this waste we are opposed to any action that enables the development of the Hinkley C nuclear power station.

“As the only political party in Wales that is completely and unambiguously opposed to all nuclear power we do not support the plans for either Hinkley C or Wylfa B power stations.”

Even rock musician and anti-nuclear campaigner Cian Ciaran, who is the keyboard player for the band Super Furry Animals, has come out against the matter.

The musician lodged papers at the High Court seeking an injunction to stop the dumping and said that the “nuclear establishment cannot be trusted”.

“Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, and therefore the precautionary principle should dictate a rethink,” said Mr Ciaran. “A rethink by our politicians and policy makers to do the right think by its people.

“The implications and consequences of this dredging could be far reaching.”

South Wales Central AM Neil McEvoy has set up a CrowdFunder page to raise £15,000 for the protest as he believes there may be a judicial review.

He said: “Our initial target of £5,000 was so that we could carry out an interim injunction in order to temporarily halt the dumping of the Hinkley nuclear reactor mud.”

“However, in order to stop the mud dump for good we will need to return to court, which could lead to a judicial review. Judicial reviews are very costly and so extra funding will be required. This will be used for court fees and to put together a strong legal challenge against the mud being dumped in Wales.

“I’m concerned because I do not believe enough testing has been done. We’re talking about mud being dredged from outside a nuclear reactor.”

Energy company EDF are dredging the mud ahead of building two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. The company said the dredging is necessary ahead of drilling that needs to be done ahead of works for the new reactors.

Environmental watchdog Natural Resources Wales (NRW) granted the licence for the dumping and insist that it is safe.

A spokesman for NRW said: “Every element of the application was considered thoroughly including testing of the sediment from the dredge sites by independent experts in accordance with international standards and guidelines, and advice from health experts. The results showed the material was suitable for disposal at sea.

“We’ve tried to reassure people that the proposed activity will not harm people or the environment.”

EDF says the dredging of mud from the seabed off the Hinkley Point C site is necessary ahead of drilling six vertical shafts for the cooling water system for the new nuclear power station.

However, those against the dredging say it could pose health risks.

Max Wallis of Friends of the Earth, Penarth and Barry said: “The NRW up to recently stated the EIA for dumping had been covered in the EIA for the jetty development in Somerset, covered by the Environment Agency but this was contradicted by CEFAS’s statement of 2013, Nevertheless the NRW (wrongly) issued the 2014 license. Moreover their own rules say that an EIA is always required for projects within an European conservation site, as is the Severn Estuary.”